McDonald Farm offers Hamilton County Fair the chance to focus, grow

Set for Oct. 1-2, the event is leaving Chester Frost Park after almost 30 years there

Staff photo by Tim Barber/ Silas Buchanan, 5, focuses on the mouth of Tess, a milking cow as he feeds her hay provided by owner by Zoe Grosskreutz, seated, Sunday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2019, during the final day of the 2019 Hamilton County Fair at Chester Frost Park.

The Hamilton County Fair is moving 22 miles north from Chester Frost Park in Hixson to the newly acquired McDonald Farm property in Sale Creek, which organizers say will allow them to focus on the original intent of the fair - showcasing livestock and agriculture - and will provide the opportunity for future growth, according to Chairman Tom Lamb.

But first, the 2022 version, set for Oct. 1-2, will need to shrink in size.

"The infrastructure that is there was built to accommodate the (McDonald) family that lived there," Lamb said by phone, pointing out that there isn't enough electricity and water for a large-scale music event or a midway, currently, but there is plenty of room on the 2,170-acre property for those to be added in coming years. The county bought the farm in December 2021 for $16 million.